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FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar: FIFA confirms the availability of Semi-Automated Offside Technology

The upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 will experience Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT). This system will help to provide the offside decision faster in a more accurate way.

Qatar is ready to organize the FIFA World Cup 2022 from 21st November to 18th December 2022. All the 32 teams, including the hosts, have confirmed their spots and respective starting points for the upcoming World Cup.

fifa world cup qatar 2022 draw

While the 22nd FIFA World Cup is just more than four months away from the beginning, the international governing body of association football, FIFA has approved the presence and utilization of Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) in the forthcoming World Cup.

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FIFA already tested Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) in tournaments

This SAOT has already been tested by the international football governing body in the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 and FIFA Club World Cup 2021. Due to the successful results in those tournaments, FIFA has decided to utilise this technology in the upcoming most prestigious international football tournament.

SAOT process

offside, FIFA World Cup 2022, Semi-Automated Offside Technology
Image Credit: Reuters

The Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system will play a significant role in the SAOT. Meanwhile, the video official referees and on-field match officials will take the ultimate offside decisions after analyzing the detailed data.

SAOT will be worked with 12 tracking cameras from the roof of the stadiums to track the ball and up to 29 data points of each individual player (50 times per second) to calculate their exact position on the pitch. The 29 collected data points include all limbs and extremities, which are relevant for making offside calls.

Adidas’ official match ball for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, Al Rihla, will also play a massive role in this SAOT system. The inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor will be fitted at the centre of the inside of the ball. This sensor can produce ball data 500 times per second to detect the kick point of the ball.

A 3D animation will be provided for the fans to clearly show the offside. Fans will watch this 3D animation in the stadiums on giant screens. Meanwhile, FIFA’s broadcast partners will also bring this 3D animation to the viewers.  

Benefit of SAOT

In the present offside decision system, VAR takes an average of 70 seconds for an offside decision. SAOT generally takes an average of 25 seconds for an offside decision. Mainly multiple offside elements and complicated subjective aspects can force SAOT to take more than 25 seconds for an offside decision. Moreover, SAOT can take more accurate offside decisions.

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